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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of S'1 loop residues in the substrate specificities of pepsin A and chymosin.

Proteolytic specificities of human pepsin A and monkey chymosin were investigated with a variety of oligopeptides as substrates. Human pepsin A had a strict preference for hydrophobic/aromatic residues at P'1, while monkey chymosin showed a diversified preferences accommodating charged residues as well as hydrophobic/aromatic ones. A comparison of residues forming the S'1 subsite between mammalian pepsins A and chymosins demonstrated the presence of conservative residues including Tyr(189), Ile(213), and Ile(300) and group-specific residues in the 289-299 loop region near the C terminus. The group-specific residues consisted of hydrophobic residues in pepsin A (Met(289), Leu/Ile/Val(291), and Leu(298)) and charged or polar residues in chymosins (Asp/Glu(289) and Gln/His/Lys(298)). Because the residues in the loop appeared to be involved in the unique specificities of respective types of enzymes, site-directed mutagenesis was undertaken to replace pepsin-A-specific residues by chymosin-specific ones and vice versa. A yeast expression vector for glutathione-S-transferase fusion protein was newly developed for expression of mutant proteins. The specificities of pepsin-A mutants could be successfully altered to the chymosin-like preference and those of chymosin mutants, to pepsin-like specificities, confirming residues in the S'1 loop to be essential for unique proteolytic properties of the enzymes. An increase in preference for charged residues at P'1 in pepsin-A mutants might have been due to an increase in the hydrogen-bonding interactions. In chymosin mutants, the reverse is possible. The changes in the catalytic efficiency for peptides having charged residues at P'1 were dominated by k(cat) rather than K(m) values.[1]


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